Read II Chronicles 7 -- 9
When Solomon finished his prayer, the fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the House (II Chronicles 7:1).
After the great dedication, the Lord again appeared to Solomon by night, saying: If I shut up Heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (7:13-14). Carefully consider the qualifications for God to heal their land. First, He is speaking of My people. This implies our need to repent of our sins and receive Christ according to His Word.
Then, to humble ourselves means, first and foremost, a confession of our sin of neglecting His Word, as if we could use our own good judgment and did not need His advice. To humble one's self includes acknowledgment of sin and also a sorrow for that sin and a genuine repentance. He alone can, and does, offer forgiveness and cleansing from all sin to all who will let Him be Lord of their lives.
When God said: Seek My face, He means for us to seek Him in His Word that we may know what life is all about. As we seek His face, the Holy Spirit not only enlightens our understanding of how to know His will, but He empowers us to live it. God has warned us that, when we ignore His Word, even our prayer shall be an abomination (Proverbs 28:9). God desires to answer prayer, but He will not answer the prayers of those who proudly assume they can ignore His Word.
However, regardless of the past, there is still an opportunity for restoration for all who will humble themselves, repent, and turn from their self-centered determination to do what pleases self. Even when our prayers are according to His Word, it is essential that our conduct is consistent with His Word. We need to consider and ask ourselves: "Will what I'm seeking in prayer bring honor to the Father or merely benefit my desires"?
If the Lord is to have His way in our lives, we must first realize our great need to prayerfully read all His Word which, in turn, makes it possible that His words abide in you (John 15:7). This enables Him to provide us with wisdom to avoid self-deception. Without the eyes of our understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:18) through knowledge of the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we are no match for Satan. He fanatically seeks to discourage, deceive, defeat, and destroy our effectiveness to accomplish the will of God (I Peter 5:8).
Jesus said: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:5-7).
Christ Revealed: Through the glory of Solomon's kingdom (II Chronicles 9:1-28). Even though Solomon had a rich and glorious kingdom, it cannot begin to compare to Christ's coming kingdom (Rev. 22:1-5).
Word Studies: 8:5 nether means lower; 8:16 perfected means completed; 9:1 prove means test; 9:14 chapmen means merchant traders; 9:18 stays means armrests.
BPM Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Pray for Evangelist Mary Hobbs · Country: Ireland (4 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) · Religious freedom · 93% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Give praise to God that His Word will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 10
Memory Verse for the Week: I Timothy 2:8